Bolivia’s President Declares ‘Total Independence’ From IMF and World Bank

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has been highlighting his government’s independence from international money lending organizations and their detrimental impact on the nation.

“A day like today in 1944 ended Bretton Woods Economic Conference (USA), in which the IMF and WB were established,” Morales tweeted. These organizations dictated the economic fate of Bolivia and the world. Today we can say that we have total independence of them.”

Morales said Bolivia’s dependence on these agencies was so great, the International Monetary Fund had offices in government headquarters and participated in governmental meetings.

Bolivia’s uprising known as the Cochabamba Water War in 2000 against Bechtel Corporation over water privatization and the associated World Bank policies shed light on major debt issues facing the region. Some of Bolivia’s largest resistance struggles in the last 60 years have targeted economic policies carried out by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Protests focused primarily on opposing privatization policies and austerity measures, cuts to public services, privatization decrees, wage reductions, and the weakening of labor rights. Only a year after Morales came to power, social spending on health, education, and poverty programs has increased by over 45 increase.

The Morales administration made enormous transformations in the Andean nation: The nationalization of hydrocarbons, poverty reduction from 60% to less than 40%, a decrease in the rate of illiteracy from 13% to 3%, the tripling the GDP with an average growth of 5% annually, the quadrupling of the minimum wage, the increasing of state coverage, and the development of infrastructure in communications, transportation, energy and industry.

Above all, Bolivia is finding stability, an unusual sentiment for the region given their troubled political history.

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